Posts tagged christmas
The Festive Recipe Bundle!

A ‘Bliss’full Christmas?

With the festive season fast approaching… I had a slightly spontaneous idea to create a festive recipe bundle including a new version of my ‘top 5 recipes’ with some new favourites I have created since the first edition.

I coupled the Christmas Recipe Guides with my favourite Bliss Ball Guide (featuring loads of recipes that haven’t appeared on the blog) because, for me, Bliss Balls are the perfect Christmas homemade gift… so many of my customers and friends will likely attest to that, ha ha!

‘Printables’

The fun bonus with these ebooks is that they are designed such that you can print them (ideally on card), cut them along the dotted lines to keep on hand in the kitchen OR even better, use the recipe card as a gift tag when you present your homemade gift… that way your ‘giftee’ can make the recipe again for themselves. Fun, right? ;-)

All the recipes are vegan (of course) gluten free (some use oats so opt for GF versions) and refined-sugar free… so you have an indulgent Christmas without compromise.

*Note… I don’t want to imply that there should be any ‘food guilt’ I aim to inspire your creativity with food NOT make you feel bad about food! So go full out and eat sugar and refined foods if you want to, I just know many of us feel so much better in mind and body when sticking to mostly whole foods and unrefined ingredients if there is the option, and so if that’s you thing… I’ve totally got you covered!

The whole bundle is just £5…

You can buy it HERE (or click the pic below!)

P.s I’d love you to tag me on social media in any recipes you make - Instagram is my favourite hangout- I’m @johodson over there :-)

If you don’t fancy getting the guides right now, you can still get lots of recipe ideas right here on my blog… Here are a few to get you going!


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Mushroom Bourgingnon (almost alcohol free!) for your festive table!

Last weekend I co-hosted a wonderful festive vegan feast and sound bath with my good friend and incredible opera singer Laura of Namuami  Healing Through Music.

It was a wonderful gathering and an opportunity for self-care, to reflect and connect within during the Christmas rush. I have been feeling very reflective lately as the end of the year hurtles closer... looking back and looking forward at the same time can feel overwhelming!

I was planning lots of recipes in the lead up to the event, looking for ideas that could easily cater for larger numbers, that would be simple to prepare (the kitchen facilities at the venue are basic) and that would taste festive and sumptuous (haven't used that word in a while!)

vegan mushroom bourginon.jpg

I settled for a roasted parsnip soup (I will post that recipe another time), a roasted brussel sprout, quinoa, cranberry and almond salad (I used this recipe as a guide) AND a mushroom bourguignon... oh it was good, a rich, smooth and silky 'gravy' just like the photos imply! It all went down a treat and got rave reviews with lots of requests for the recipe! 

The recipes I found were all based on using red wine but I was keen to avoid this in a communal wellbeing setting and so instead of the bottle of red wine I replaced this with a carton of red grape juice and a 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar (yes that does contain a little alcohol but much less overall). It worked a treat!

I used chestnut mushrooms for the slightly nuttier flavour, I also recommend using baby chantenay carrots- the bonus is these don't need peeling either, just a good scrub! Any other veg is up to you. I added green beans, but red peppers or peas would be great too. This recipe from The Veg Space was my original inspiration but there are lots of similar variations. 

This would may a wonderful dish as part of your festive dining experience, or served as a meal on its own with a pile of creamy mashed potato (or mashed root veg combo!) would also be amazing.

I'd love to hear what dishes will be adorning your Christmas table?

if you haven't yet tried it... I highly recommend my mini Christmas pudding porridge. It's a winner- promise! :-)
 

vegan mushroom bourginon.jpg

Recipe: Mushroom Bourgingnon

Serves approx 6-8 (half the recipe I orginally made- feel free to halve again)

Ingredients:

  • 5 shallots - coarsley chopped

  • a bag of baby carrots- approx 10-12 - sliced

  • a pack of green beans- approx 2 handfuls

  • 3 garlic cloves - crushed

  • 400g chestnut mushrooms

  • 400ml red grape juice

  • approx 2 tbs red wine vinegar

  • 250ml veg stock

  • 3 tbs tomato puree

  • 1 heaped tbs vegan gravy powder (or cornflower, as the Bisto powder I used was mainly cornflower)

  • a handful of fresh herbs- I used rosemary, sage and thyme.

Method:

And the garlic, carrots and shallots to a large pan with 2 teaspoons of oil of choice and cook for approx. 3 minutes. Cut the mushrooms into quarters, add to the pan along with the green ebans (and any other veg) and cook for another 3-5 minutes.

Meanwhile mix the gravy powder/cornflower in a small bowl with a little of the grape juice to form a thick smooth paste. Add this to the pan along with the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil and then cook until it looks thickened and 'glossy'- approx 10 minutes. Add some finely chopped fresh herbs in the final five minutes of cook time- reserve some to sprinkle to serve if desired.

Serve immediately with mashed potato or alongside other dishes. A wedge of crusty bread would be great too!

Note: I ate leftovers the next day and it tasted amazing, the flavours seemed even richer. Therefore, I think this would also be a great prep-the-day-before dish! 

vegan parsnip soup
quinoa cranberry brussel sprout salad.jpg

These were the other savoury delights from the event... I also created a new flavour of 'bliss ball' for the after sound bath treat along with some warmed spiced apple juice.
 

ginger orange and mint choc bliss balls.jpg

These were ginger, orange, goji and turmeric bliss balls. Deliciously festive! I will get this on the blog soon... but if you want to give them a go, use any basic bliss ball recipe (dates and ground nuts) and add a few goji berries, ground ginger ground turmeric and orange zest to taste. 


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Mini Christmas Pudding Porridge... takes just 3 mins all in!!

This was my epic breakfast last weekend. It looks like dessert, to be honest it is totally worthy of 'bressert' status. For dessert use the juice as noted and sprinkle the coconut sugar. Job done!

christmas pudding porridge 2a.jpg

You could prepare the mix ahead of time too and just let it sit for an hour or so, possibly overnight, I haven't tried it that way but I don't see why it wouldn't work. 'Overnight Oats Christmas Pudding Porridge', ha ha! The best thing ever to wake up to on Christmas morning... with absolute minimal prep!

It literally takes three mins to make from start to finish! (if you use a microwave- see my notes below).

I make servings like this using a silicone egg poacher - so handy, the perfect size and they are flexible so the contents come out so easily. I highly recommend investing in one for you single serve cakes and such like (not eggs!) ;-)

What will you be making on Christmas day morning?

Are you more sweet or savoury?

I'm such a sweet porridge girl so that's been my go-to to make for my family these last few years. If you haven't already, I highly recommend trying these too- the bakewell pie and the classic festive baked oatmeal that kicked it all off!

christmas pudding porridge 3a.jpg

Recipe: Mini Christmas Pudding Porridge!

Serves one

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup porridge oats

  • 2 tbs ground nuts of any kind

  • 1/4 cup apple puree

  • 1/4 cup mixed dried fruit (a mix of some of these: raisins/sultanas/currants/cranberries/gojis)

  • 1/2 tsp spice or more to taste (I used a little of mixed spice & cinnamon)

  • 1 heaped tbs flax

  • 1/4 cup water (or juice for extra sweetness)

Method:

Mix everything together well in a small bowl.

Spoon into a small circular microwaveable domed dish- I use an egg poacher (so great for mini cakes!!) Press firmly and smooth the top.

Microwave for 90 seconds on high power. Carefully loosen and tip out onto serving plate and dress with vegan yoghurt or cream plus any extra fruits and spices, I used gojis, but a cranberry compote or some festive jam would be amazing! If you prefer an even sweeter porridge sprinkle a touch of coconut sugar, it was fine for me without.

*Notes: I rarely use a microwave these days but I didn't want to turn on the oven on for this tiny dish, I also find it crisps/dries up more in the oven and this works best when the moistness is maintained. By all means try the oven but don't overcook- cover loosely in foil and make sure middle is still very moist!

If you try the microwave option but are making multiple puddings- cook one at a time or increase the timing- I have only tried cooking one.

christmas pudding porridge 4a.jpg
christmas pudding porridge 5a.jpg

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Bliss Baubles... fun Christmas gift (and the Ultimate Guide!)

At the beginning of this month you may recall I launched a simple advent gratitude challenge on Facebook. I've been feeling festive now that all the adverts are on TV and the countdown to Christmas is in full flow...  I am also feeling very reflective and setting in motion what I want to create in 2017! Maybe this is what triggered the gratitude challenge.

I also ran another 'Bliss Ball' workshop a few weekends ago (we also had one on my last two retreats) and it was so much fun!  As I was making up all the mix I had an idea for a simple gift idea...

christmas bliss balls gift

Mini bliss balls in a bauble! Yay!

Simply, blend up some dates, nut butter and cacoa (or use your favourite bliss ball recipe) roll into small balls then dust in extra cacao. 

Below are the rough ratios (I rarely measure bliss ball ingredients these days!)... basically make sure you process the ingredients well and end up with a mix that tatses good and isn't too sticky to handle. Add more dry ingredient or chill for a while if too sticky.

The guide is my go too recipe when it comes to bliss ball making. The perfect beginning 'base'.

Guide recipe:

  • 2 cups medjool dates or soaked deglet noor dates (drain them very well!)

  • 1/2 heaped cup desiccated coconut, ground almonds or nut butter

  • 1/4 cup cocoa or raw cacao (plus extra for dusting)

  • few drops of flavour extract to taste (optional) - peppermint, orange and rosewater are my favourites!

Pop a handful of balls in a plastic bauble- the type made in two halves (I found a set of 8cm baubles on Ebay) add a ribbon and a gift tag with a little message if giving as a gift... or just hang on the tree! 

I didn't take a great photo as I hadn't initially planned to blog it (only Instagram it), but I thought it was such a lovely idea, I wanted to share it here too!

They'd make great stocking fillings, thank you gifts or healthy Christmas tree candy! 

Here is a pic from the workshop in Lanzarote.... messy hands!

Here is a pic from the workshop in Lanzarote.... messy hands!

As I am such a big lover of bliss balls/power balls/energy balls... (whatever name floats your boat). I made a fun guide 'The Ultimate Bliss Ball Guide' and you can buy it here for just $5. You can simply view it digitally or print as cut into a card set as I have designed it be used :-)  No excuse for not having healthy, indulgent, energising snacks to hand any more!

Packed full with 20 EASY NO-BAKE RECIPES. Complete with lots of variations for endless fun and exploration!

Enjoy... be sure to tag me if you make any of the recipes!


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Baked 'Bakewell' Pie.... New favourite easy festive 'bressert'!

I have found my new Christmas breakfast for this year!  Or more accurately 'bressert' - when  dish i heathy enough for breakfast but indulgent enough for dessert!

It's a spin on my equally wonderful classic Christmas baked oats from over 4 years ago now (wow time flies!) and it's the new recipe I'll be making for my family on Christmas morning. 

Recipe: Baked 'Bakewell' Pie

This year we are spending Christmas Day at my brother and his girlfriend's house in Winchester, and knowing they both love 'Bakewell Tart' flavours I was inspired to create a breakfast in their honour. The mini bliss balls pressed into the top are added indulgence as I had some mix in my fridge from the recent workshop I ran (more workshops in the New Year if you want to come!) but you could omit these or simply use marzipan and roll into balls if you have that to hand! Or you could use Bakewell Nakd bars chopped up, ha ha (not a sponsored link!) I will say the balls do make an incredible addition to this breakfast so add them if you can.

The three big things I love about baked oatmeals are...

  1. They literally take minutes to mix up in one bowl and you can just as easily make breakfast for two or eight by just changing at the quantities (and the size of the baking dish)

  2. There are almost endless flavour combinations (I have loads on my blog already)

  3. They are healthy enough for breakfast but indulgent enough for dessert!

The bliss ball recipe I used is available here in my newly launched 'The Ultimate Bliss Ball Recipe Guide'. It has 20 recipes AND loads of alternative options for each so the ideas really are limitless... this guide will be a great addition to a January health kick too!  I made the book as a 'printable layout' so you can print and cut the cards up to give as gifts with a recipe you've made.  

It's the little things that make me happy! :-)

 

Now, back to the Bakewell Pie recipe...

Recipe: Baked 'Bakewell' Pie

Recipe: Baked 'Bakewell' Pie

Serves 2 (could just as easily be doubled or tripled....)

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup porridge oats

  • 1 1/2 cup non dairy milk

  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds

  • 1 tbs ground flax seed or chia seed

  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

  • 1/2 cup roughly crumbled frozen raspberries*

  • bliss balls or marzipan balls (optional)

  • approx. 1 tbs maple syrup to taste (or any unrefined sweetener of choice)

*I didn't have cherries to hand (which would have made a more classic bakewell). I use frozen fruits as they are more readily available for me at this time of year. Their colour does not bleed so much as I mix then through, and they do not risk burning in the oven.

Method:

Mix everything together adding the raspberries in the final strokes. Spoon into a medium oven dish, add a few extra almond flakes into the top if you like. Don't addd the bliss balls yet! If you are making your own bliss balls, you have a 10 minute window to make them now.

Bake at 180C for a total of approx. 25 mins until the topping is golden. After 10-15 mins whilst the top is still quite soft (and not golden) add the bliss balls, pressing them lightly into the top. Continue baking until golden on top.

Serve immediately, alone or with non-dairy yoghurt, cream or (ice-cream for dessert!) Also great eaten cold the next day.

raspberry almond oatbake 3a.jpg
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Spiced Apple & Pear Porridge

Hey! I'm popping in quickly on this Saturday afternoon, (whilst steaming my Christmas puddings) with a little recipe combo I've been eating quite a bit recently... I hadn't initially planned to write a blog post but then figures these photos weren't actually too bad, and since it was a lovely wintery warmer full of festive spice, it was too good not to share!!

Recipe: Spiced Apple & Pear Porridge

P.s If you want to know what recipe I used for my Christmas pud I shared it here on Facebook. I thought it best not to blog it just yet since I won't know how well it's worked out until I taste it, but if you are going to make your own this is the latest time you should ideally be doing it, so that it can sit and mellow before the big day!  Fingers crossed it's as tasty as the non-vegan one I remember so well from years gone by.

So, back to the porridge... I used ingredients from two of my favourite companies for purchasing ingredients. RealFoodSource and Steenbergs (this is not an affiliate post but I did get some ingredients gifted to me to try in my recipes).

The freeze dried apple powder is great as an alternative whole food sweetener to syrups, it's literally ground up freeze dried apple! Teamed with Christmas Chia spice (regular ground cinnamon or mixed since would also work) it was delicious... I made two different variations, one with a sprinkle of cranberries an extra spice and another with dark chic chips and a drizzle of almond butter. Both were yum!

I sliced my pear longways and griddled it, but you could also cut into cubes and pan fry to warm through or serve raw.

Recipe: Spiced Apple & Pear Porridge

Recipe: Spiced Apple & Pear Porridge

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup porridge oats

  • 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk of choice

  • 2 tbs freeze dried apple powder (more to taste if needed)

  • 1/2 - 1 tsp christmas chai spice (or cinnamon/mixed spice)

  • 1 pear- sliced and griddled in a touch of coconut oil

  • Topping: dried cranberries or choc drops and almond butter (or everything!)

Method:

Add the oats, non-dairy milk, apple powder and spice to a small saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer for five minutes or so until cooked. Meanwhile griddle (or pan fry) the pear until softened.

Serve the porridge into a bowl then top with the pear slices and other toppings of choice. 

Recipe: Spiced Apple & Pear Porridge

If you love porridge... check out my book 'Not Just For Goldilocks'  for over 50 unique porridge recipes with options to suit all tastebuds and dietary requirements.

Porridge is amazing and so versatile... it's literally my favourite meal ;-)


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Best ever festive nut roast!

This will probably be my last recipe post before Christmas day... so I figured I'd better make it a good one AND I figured a savoury recipe might just be in order!

For those of you with a sweet tooth...don't worry, I've added links to two of my favourite festive treats too.... scroll down for those!

I had an epic baking session in the kitchen yesterday.... four big nut roasts, two big batches of bliss balls and two big trays of chocolate-orange-raspberry brownie cake. That should set me up for the next week, though they weren't all for me somewhere private orders for others ;-)

The photos of the nut roast are not the best ever since they were fresh out of the oven and I couldn't slice into them as they needed to be kept whole for the big day itself, however the recipe is very similar in texture to my previous nut roast recipe and so I have shown sliced photos of that one below so you get the full idea!

Best ever festive nut roast!

What's different about this nut roast?

What's the secret ingredients?

.... well, sun dried tomatoes are the answer!

On my recent wellness retreat I made 'meatballs' that used mushrooms, sunflower seeds and sun-dried tomatoes and they tasted incredible- I'll try and post the recipe soon but I need good photos! The sun-dried tomatoes create an amazing richness to a meatball/nut roast style recipe, and so in creating this nut roast I tweaked my previous recipe that I still love so much to add in the tomatoes as well as a few different herbs.

One of things I love about this recipe, as well as its previous incarnation was that it's not too heavy on the nuts- a lovely combination of nuts and beans and oats (oat make a great wheat free alternative to breadcrumbs).

I found an idea for a glaze by Angela at Oh She Glows, and so I tweaked that and added it to the top half of my loaves too for variety. 

I have made this as a loaf tin and also in deep cake pans, as shown here, that I plan to cut into wedges to serve. Always nice to change things up a bit! 

Do the double bake! As per my original recipe one of the ways I like to serve this is to bake a few days in advance, freeze, then defrost for an hour or so on Christmas morning just enough to slice neatly and then arrange the individual slices on a baking sheet and 'double bake' for super crispy edges and to heat though. Amazingly time-saving on Christmas morning!

A good nut roast would not be complete without gravy… This is my favourite mushroom gravy recipe and the one I'll be serving up on Christmas day. Even mushroom haters will like it (I used to be a mushroom hater myself!) It looks a bit grey in the photos on the link but it's not so much in real life ;-)

plain top on the left and glazed top on the right (add the glaze near the end so it doesn't burn!)

plain top on the left and glazed top on the right (add the glaze near the end so it doesn't burn!)

Recipe: Christmas Nut Roast

Makes 1 loaf or a 8" cake pan

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped nuts/seeds (I used a mix of almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds)
  • 1 tbs olive oil (if sun-dried tomatoes are not in oil)
  • One onion diced
  • Three garlic clove minced
  • 1 large carrot grated
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • 1 cup cooked white beans
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (approx 6)
  • 1 cup dry porridge oats 
  • 2 heaped tbs flax (or chia, tapioca or potato flour)
  • small handful fresh parsley 
  • small handful fresh oregano 
  • 1 tsp dried mixed Italian herbs
  • 2 tbs tamari soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Up to ¼ cup vegetable stock if needed (I never need it as it's moist enough)

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 180C. Coarsely grind any nuts/seeds and set aside. if you are using sun-dried tomatoes not in oil add them here also (if soft in oil add with veg)

Sauté vegetables in olive oil for 5 mins until soft- add sun-dried tomatoes if in oil. 

Mix all ingredients in large bowl adding sautéed vegetables to it. Mix and mash together well and add stock only if needed to achieve a sticky (but not wet) consistency. Add more oats if mixture is too wet. 

Press mixture firmly into a greased and lined 20cm loaf pan or cake pan. Bake for approx. 45 mins until cooked through and golden on top. If adding the glazed brush this on generously 10 mins before the end of the cooking time I found it tended to burn of added at the beginning of the cooking time).

Let the loaf sit for 10 mins before turning out of the tin.

Recipe: Glaze:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs tomato puree
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 2 tbs apple puree (plain applesauce)

Method:

Mix all ingredient together and brush on top of the loaf with a pastry brush in a  generous layer. I add the glaze towards the end of the bake time so seal it but so that it doesn't risk burning.

My original nut loaf recipe- great texture!    

My original nut loaf recipe- great texture! 

 


Easy sweet treat ideas roundup!

Since I have had a few full on chocolatey days at home in my kitchen, I thought it would only be fair to share a few recipes with you from ym archives- easy no fuss winners that are wheat free and refined sugar free too.

This forest fruit chocolate pudding-cake is a spin on my favourite brownie cake and perfect for a celebttipn- serve hot or cold with vegan cream or ice-cream. Winner! I made a version this year mixing the beside through the batter and then adding a sugar free jam glaze when it came out of the oven!

These choc-orage goji bites are one of my classic 'bliss ball' style recipes- seen here sliced into squares instead of rolled into balls. You can really make any variation- this year I made this recipe but istead of orange extract I added a generous helping of ground ginger, added a tiny bit of water to make the mix even more fudgey, rolled them into balls and then dusted in extra cacao. So good! 

I'd love to hear what you'll be concocting in the kicthen for Christmas... if you make any of my recipes please tag me on social media (see links below) you have no idea how happy it makes me to see your pics!

Wishing you a totally magical Christmas season!


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New Christmas recipe round up... including a FREE ebook!

Wow... nearly a month since I last wrote a food post! How has it been that long!

Well, I guess my mind and energy have been occupied with other things- namely my wellness retreat. It was amazingly epic, but I won't bore you here- you can hop across and find out more here and watch my videos if you fancy ;-)

Luckily I have festive recips to indulge in and share with you as during November I was busy creating an update ebook for Real Food Source and so here you have a little round up of some of the new delights we have for you... including these amazing sprinkles (aka bauble truffles!)

christmas bliss balls

There are loads of other great recipes in the book (all but a couple are vegan- those ones aren't mine!) 

These are the new recipes I created for this year...

  • Christmas Truffle Baubles
  • Rudolph Oaty Cookies and raw cookies (2 options!)
  • Choc-brownies xmas trees with festive frosting (love the frosting!!)
  • Choc-brownie trifle
  • Christmas wreaths
  • Mini Christmas puds

Plus you still get the awesome recipes from last year...

  • Christmas baked oatmeal
  • Coconut cream cheesecakes
  • Spiced Rice Pud
  • Mince pies with homemade refined sugar free mincemeat
  • Mini christmas pudding
  • Cranberry almond cookies
  • Christmas Cake
  • Chocolate Tiffin
  • Vegan 'Egg' Nog
  • Orange Cranberry Pancakes
  • Chocolate Muffins with ganache frosting 

You can download the book for FREE here!! 

They also have some lovely new products on their website that would make amazing Christmas gifts or stocking fillers- I will note here that not all are vegan- but they sent me a sample of their dark chocolate coated coconut balls and they are amazing- I have eaten way to many these last couple of days. I've had to hide the bag in a box in the garage to stop me digging in overtime I walk into kitchen. Seriously!  They have choc-raspberry balls too!

How will you be indulging this Christmas?

What is your favourite treat to buy or make?


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